Moles are small mammals that live the better part of their life in the soil. They are closely related to shrews. Moles feed on soil insects and soil invertebrates. The primary diet is earthworms. An adult Eastern mole eats about fifty pounds of soil invertebrates a year. Moles can open up new surface tunnels at the rate of eighteen feet per hour. A male mole will develop tunnels over a four acre area. The female mole's territory usually extends over about one acre. Reportedly, they can scoot through eighty feet of tunnel per minute when frightened.
While many property owners associate moles with the presence of grubs it is unlikely that a property owner can rid his turf of moles simply by an application of grub control. One single yard is just the tip of the mole problem iceberg. Moles will indeed feed on grubs, however grubs are only found in the lawn during certain times of year while moles are active year around.
Moles have both surface tunnels and deeper tunnels serving as highways. Many feet below the serene, tranquil surface of your lawn, a blind, furry critter with Krueger-like claws may be building a den in which to raise her young.
Controlling moles is extremely difficult. Controlling the food supply such as grubs is one step in the process. Moles are often found in grub free lawns feeding greedily on earthworms. We would not want to control earthworms and for healthy soil and lawns we encourage earthworm population. Gas bombs and poison baits are one means of mole control. Getting them to the deeper levels of the tunnel network are difficult and often impossible. Using gas pellets can be hazardous to the applicator and pets in the vicinity. Mole traps are considered by many to be the best and safest method of mole control. Success in mole trapping requires time and patience to learn mole habits and track activity.